Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán

November 13, 2014

(@cipamericas.org)

On 5 November, three members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) received threats by phone from a local number telling them “what have you been doing at the forum?  You have no reason to be there” and to “be careful of the consequences; we will meet.”  A fourth person from the same group did not take the call upon identifying the same number.  On 4 November, they also noticed surveillance in the place where the APPJ was holding a meeting with people linked to the Bii Hioxo wind-energy plant owned by Fenosa Natural Gas.  The APPJ members identified these surveillers as being the material authors of the harassment and threats made against the APPJ.

These threats come within the context of the first phase of agreements for a consultation that is being carried out in Juchitán, Tehuantepec Isthmus, regarding a new wind-energy project impelled by Wind-Energy of the South (formerly Mareña Renewables) that would install 132 towers in the region.

In an Urgent Action regarding these threats, the organization Código DH denounced that “[t]he violation of the rights of those participating in the consultative process imperils the security of persons.  It is a way of attempting to silence the critical voices and to reduce the participation of the citizenry within a process that should be open and broad.  It is unacceptable that this is a question of guaranteeing rights by violating those of others, either by action or omission.  The existence of these new threats against members of the [APPJ] who find themselves participating in this exercise shows this to be true.  It not only violates the right to participation by a specific group that has denounced the installation of the Bii Hioxo wind-energy park on communal lands and been critical of the process, denouncing death-threats and harassment on multiple occasions, but also taints the first phase of this consultative process, which should guarantee the participation of all those who are interested in participating.”

The APPJ together with other collectives and social organizations has questioned the consultation that has been initiated in Juchitán as a “joke” and a “circus,” given that it only began once 13 wind-energy parks and more than 800 wind-towers had been installed in the region.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuevas amenazas a integrantes de la APPJ en el marco de la consulta que se realiza en Juchitán (Acción Urgente de CODIGO DH, 6 de noviembre de 2014)

Hostigamiento y amenazas obstaculizan el debido desarrollo de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (CODIGO DH, PODER, PRODESC, 6 de noviembre de 2014)

Es viciada e ilegítima consulta sobre instalación de parque eólico en Juchitán (La Jornada, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

Es una burla consultar después de invadirnos de aerogeneradores: juchitecos (Página3.mx, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)


Oaxaca: Twentieth anniversary of EDUCA. “20 years of sowing social processes”

November 12, 2014

twiter_20_años_con_hp

Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) has now celebrated its twentieth anniversary.  The organization began after the armed insurrection of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Chiapas, and it has been following two major aspects in its work: the promotion of citizens’ participation in Oaxaca and human rights, particularly of indigenous peoples.  Using the slogan “20 years of sowing social processes,” the civil organization this year will review what it has sown and what it has reaped.

EDUCA members have affirmed that “20 years ago, we raised our voice to give reason to our hope.  Today we continue firmly with that conviction.  It is true that 20 years are not many; they are in fact a mere breath in time, but at the same time that span could be a life full of struggle.  Thank you!”

For more information (in Spanish):

Para Educa, sexenio de URO, el más negro (Noticiasnet.mx, 19 de octubre de 2014)

EDUCA 20 años sembrando procesos sociales. Felicitaciones de cumpleaños (EDUCA, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Recuento de la historia de EDUCA (EDUCA)

Entrevista con Marcos Leyva Madrid, Director de EDUCA A. C. sobre el vigésimo aniversario (EDUCA)


Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán

November 12, 2014

Consulta en Juchitán (@Gobierno del estado de Oaxaca)

Consultation in Juchitán (@state-government of Oaxaca Oaxaca)

On 3 November, a consultative process was launched in Juchitán de Zaragoza in comformity with the stipulations of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).  This process will involve five phases to allow for the population to accept or reject a proposed project for 132 wind-energy plants that would be installed on a territory of 5,332 hectares in their jurisdiction.  This project would be owned by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South (formerly Mareña Renovables).  This is the same project that was rejected by the Ikojts people in San Dionisio del Mar and the Binnizá from Álvaro Obregón, near Juchitán.

For the present, the form of the consultative process is being defined.  The question has unleashed a number of reactions regarding the validity of said mechanism between those who believe it be a genuine and historical process, being the first consultation that is carried out, while others feel it is mere pretense.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se inicia en Juchitán consulta pública sobre parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Inicia en Juchitán proceso de consulta previa sobre proyecto eólico (Radio Formula, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Modifican procedimiento del Protocolo de consulta eólica (Romonoticias, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Protocolo para la Consulta en Juchitán

El parque eólico juchiteco: participación y preguntas(Quadratin Oaxaca, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Bodas de plata del Convenio 169 de la OIT: lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo (El periódico, 26 de octubre de 2014)

La consulta previa y los malabares del gobierno (Animal Político, 16 de octubre de 2014)


Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of female human-rights defender

October 25, 2014

LogoRedMujeresFinal-2-289x300

The Network of Female Activists and Human-Rights Defenders of Oaxaca denounced that on 8 October, the home of defender Silvia Gabriela Hernández Salinas, a member of the Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL) collective, was forcibly entered to remove her personal computer and two external hard drives.  Despite the fact that the house contained other valuable items, only the digital materials in question were stolen, such that the Network believes that the robbery is associated with her work in favor of the defense of human rights.

In Oaxaca, mobilizations were undertaken on 2 and 8 October to demand the presentation of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa alive.  It should be mentioned that Silvia Gabriela participated in both such protest-actions.  Furthermore, she indicated that months previously, she had been confronted by members of the State Preventive Police and was arrested on 6 July 2007, when supporters of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) clashed with police following the procession of the popular Guelaguetza in Oaxaca City.

This case adds to the list of 59 attacks against 22 human-rights defenders, 3 journalists, and 6 collectives and organizations in the state of Oaxaca that have been committed in the first half of 2014.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian allanamiento y robo defensora de los DH (Noticias Net, 10 de octubre de 2014)

Allanan domicilio de defensora de DH; suman 60 ataques en Oaxaca solo en 2014 (Página 3, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Oaxaca: Primer lugar en ataques a mujeres defensoras de DH y periodistas (Consorcio Oaxaca, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attempted murder against a member of VOCAL (12 January 2009)


Oaxaca: Two dead and one seriously injured, in a “worrying increase of police violence” (EDUCA)

October 11, 2014

Imagen @ OIDHO.org

Image @ OIDHO.org

On 22 September, the communal leader Jaime López Hernández, member of the Indigenous Organization for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO), was killed by a shot in the back in the San Andrés Lovene community, San Juan Ozolotepec municipality, as he was visiting his mother’s gravesite. Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) manifested its energetic rejection of the act, condemning the murder of Jaime López, and it noted that “[we are] concerned by the increase in police violence in Oaxaca and the impunity in which attacks against [social] leaders and human-rights defenders remain.  Jaime López’s murder [...] joins in a long chain of attacks committed against human-rights activists.  Organizations such as Peace Brigades International and the National Network of Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ have located Oaxaca as one of the states in which is observed the most attacks on human-rights defenders.  We call on the state authorities to act immediately in this case, to engage in a lawful investigation, and to commit themselves seriously to protecting the work of defenders in Oaxaca.”

Beyond this, on 26 September, two teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) were fired upon from a vehicle as they were walking in the street.  Of the two teachers, both of whom worked in a high school in San Mateo del Mar, one died–Shamir Jonatán Osorio Gallegos–while the other, Manuel Reyna Osorio, was seriously injured.

Lastly, reflecting on the numerous violent acts that have been seen in different parts of Mexico of late, an opinion article in La Jornada expressed that “Despite the official efforts to minimize the impacts of insecurity in the social perception, violence and criminal anarchy continue to affect the people in many regions of the national territory, giving the impression that the attempt to deviate attention from these problems does nothing more than exacerbate them [...].  The armed forces continue to be employed in police tasks that are distinct from their constitutionally defined role; the country lacks social, political, educational, and health policies that would be able to act as a preventive factor against organized crime; impunity prevails in nearly all the crimes committed by the previous administration; the reform of police bodies at the three levels [of government] continues to be a pending task; the observance of human rights experiences serious factical and institutional regression, and, above all, an economic policy that provokes social anomie, unemployment, and marginalization, that obliges large segments of the population to work in the informal sector and that, ultimately, ends up feeding criminality continues and is made yet more profound.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa: Asesinan a Jaime López, integrante de OIDHO(OIDHO, 23 de septiembre de 2014)  

Líder de OIDHO fue asesinado frente a la tumba de su madre en San Andrés Lovene (Página 3, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante el asesinato de Jaime López Hernández, de la OIDHO (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Violencia imparable (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Condena Sección 22 asesinato de profesor (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Atacan a balazos a 2 intendentes (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Tirotean a maestros de la @SECCIONXXII en Oaxaca; Un muerto (E-Consulta Oaxaca, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Concern for the alarming increase in murders in the state (26 April 2014)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Law on indigenous and Afromexican peoples “tied up” in the state congress

October 1, 2014

Evento de organizaciones Civiles sobre la Ley Indígena y Afromestiza (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Event with civil organizations regarding the Indigenous and Afromestizo Law (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Six months after Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo sent the bill regarding Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples to the state congress, it still has yet to be approved.  It bears mentioning that the project of this initiative was submitted to the state congress on 21 March 2014, following two years of preparation via a series of forums and consultations.

On 22 September, the Consultative Council of Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples of Oaxaca called on the congress to approve this reform during the current period of meetings, “taking into consideration that today, in New York, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples has begun, with this being a high-level plenary session of the sixty-ninth period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, which seems to promote the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples.”  Indeed, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended said meeting.

The secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Adelfo Regino Montes, has assured that, were the Decree Project to be approved as a reform, it would add and require a number of changes to the Oaxacan state constitution in terms of indigenous and Afromexican affairs, and thus would constitute an “unprecedented and historic” change.

Civil-society organizations have denounced that the initiative finds itself tied up in the congress due to “fear, prejudice, and ignorance.”  They have expressed that, if the initiative in question were not to be approved, social organizations and indigenous movements would take other means.  In a press-conference, Gustavo Esteva from Unitierra affirmed that Oaxaca could come to be a global model of legislative harmonization of this dimension and thus help bring about a more inclusive, democratic, and just society, precisely through attending comprehensively to the rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ley sobre Pueblos Indígenas: vanguardista pero ‘atorada’ en el Congreso(Noticiasnet.mx, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Por doble ignorancia Congreso local no aprueba reforma constitucional indígena (E-Oaxaca, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo e ignorancia impiden ley indígena (Noticiasnet.mx, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo, prejuicio e ignorancia, frenan Ley Indígena (Adiario, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano de Oaxaca


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